Nicholas Talley wears many different hats.
Father. Husband. Academic. Author. Administrator. Global authority on the gut.
And as of today, a Companion of the Order of Australia.
“I'm absolutely shocked, I'm very humbled,” said Professor Talley, the University of Newcastle's Pro Vice Chancellor of Global Research.
Professor Talley works on finding cures for gut diseases. His work has led to advances in the field of Gastroenterology and further understanding of unexplained gut-related health problems. He’s also the Editor-in-Chief of The Medical Journal of Australia and still practices as a clinician part-time.
Last year, Google Scholar named him Australia's top scientist – an assessment based on researchers' productivity and citation impact on the website’s academic collection of literature.
READ MORE: Local professor ranked best in Australia
“I hoping that I'm making a difference, that's the only thing that I measure success by,” Professor Talley said.
“Making a difference to people and the community. If I'm making a small contribution in that way, then I'll keep doing that as long as I can. My goal is to progress the research and transfer that research into practice.”
“I hope I can use this honour to give back even more.”
Born in Perth, he grew up in Sydney and attended the University of NSW medical school.
Having completed time at the Prince of Wales and Royal North Shore Hospitals, Professor Talley says it was two stints in the U.S.A during the middle of his career which guided his practice to what it is today.
“Those years in the States were all at the Mayo Clinic, which is one of the famous medical research institutions,” he said. “I was very fortunate for that time.
“I learned a lot from the Americans about the value of educating well and the value of research.
“At the Mayo Clinic, they looked after each other. They tried hard to make sure people worked in an environment that was positive and supportive, and I think that's pretty important to get the best out of people.”
READ MORE: Newcastle research more than a gut feeling
Mr Talley returned to Australia in 2010 to work for the University of Newcastle with a focus on education and research.
“I'm most proud of the work in Newcastle,” he said. “I'm very thrilled to hopefully have contributed to the profession and the community. I was fortunate to help lead the faculty of the health and medicine here – the training of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.”
Professor Talley manages to juggle his busy life by ensuring his workplace is an enjoyable one.
“If you really enjoy something, it doesn't feel like work – it feels fun.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.